Elm Street, West Reading, PA
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Mission Statement: To preserve and improve the Elm Street Neighborhood Improvement District as a viable residential environment. The vision for the area is: (1) preservation of residential structures; (2) increased home ownership; (3) increased opportunities for nearby employment; (4) reduction of vehicular traffic; and (5) improved and maintained infrastructure.
History and Description
West Reading Borough’s Elm Street Area Plan and project was developed with considerable input from area residents involved in the Neighborhood Area Committee (NAC). Through their continued attendance at twice monthly neighborhood meetings and their response to the included questionnaire, neighborhood assets and challenges were able to be identified. These have been translated into goals, objectives, strategies and actions by Main Street District interests, County Community Development Office input and their community development consultant.
The Elm Street Plan for neighborhood improvement includes the following goals and objectives. A copy of the complete Plan can be obtained a the West Reading Borough offices or the Redevelopment Authority offices.
Sustainable Organization Goal: Legitimize the Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) as the continuing sounding board for all neighborhood projects and concerns.
a. Continue twice monthly meetings of the NAC at the Borough Building. Convene additional meetings as necessary.
b. Establish a mailing and telephone list of all Elm Street District property owners and residents.
c. Prepare quarterly newsletter for above list highlighting the activities and concerns of the NAC and neighborhood.
d. Distribute annual newsletter throughout the Borough.
e. Conduct annual homebuyer/neighborhood fair.
f. Attend training courses/seminars on neighborhood planning.
g. Continue to work within the successful framework of the successful Main Street District.
Clean, Safe and Green Goal: Create an aura where every man, woman and child can feel safe on neighborhood streets in a well maintained environment.
a. Improve neighborhood street lighting.
b. Maintain a clean environment through the cooperative effort of residents and a public service group to “sponsor” regular clean up of trash.
c. Improve curbs and sidewalks.
d. Provide tree planting.
e. Improve the local transportation and circulation system through devising strategies to mitigate the impacts of the traffic in the neighborhood, securing safety in the movement of people and goods.
f. Establish a block watch.
g. Devise improvements to the transportation and circulation system in coordination with the highly developed neighborhood minimizing conflicts and disruption to the neighborhood's existing land uses.
h. Form a comprehensive transportation and circulation system in the neighborhood which coordinates land use planning and transportation planning with capital improvements programming.
i. Seek cooperative strategies to provide ample public transit to the neighborhood supporting the efficient movement of the population and further economic development for the neighborhood.
j. Consider traffic calming methods at critical intersections in the neighborhood.
a. Preserve the established land use patterns of the neighborhood and encourage redevelopment appropriate to the scale and character of the established and highly developed nature of the neighborhood.
b. Promote opportunities for development of open space to reduce overall density in the neighborhood thus contributing to the visual character of the neighborhood.
c. Continue recently enacted and successful Borough-wide housing inspection program which requires inspections when a property is sold and at the time a tenant vacates the property.
d. Preserve architectural integrity and scale of the neighborhood.
e. Diligently enforce property maintenance code.
Neighbors and Economy Goal: Preserve the Elm Street District as a viable neighborhood in which to live with access to employment opportunities.
b. Seek preservation of the residential neighborhood and its housing stock through expansion of homeownership opportunities. (link to program description).
c. Assist property owners with their on-going efforts to maintain the aged housing stock in the neighborhood. (link to program description).
d. Ensure standards of health and safety in housing and property through uniform and aggressive enforcement of codes.
e. Seek opportunities to relieve the negative impacts of very high density residential land use in the neighborhood.
f. Promote the efficient delivery of services ensuring the neighborhood is adequately served.
g. Plan for changes in land use and demographic character which may require change in services and their delivery.
h. Provide the opportunity for varied recreational activity serving a diverse and changing population, convenient to the residents with recreational activities also appropriate to their location.
i. Acquire and demolish vacant building(s).
b. Integrate and work with the large-scale non-residential adjacent uses to mitigate any negative impact they may have on the neighborhood.
c. Encourage feature stories in the local newspaper about neighborhood successes and changes.
For more information, contact Ken Pick at 610-478-6325.
* Review the detailed budget as a pdf document here, which includes details on uses, source of funding and time span on each of these items listed.
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History & Description